On this day, in 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven was baptized. (There exists no authentic record of the date of his birth.)
What we do know is that Beethoven was greatly influenced by Bach. He regularly studied the preludes and fugues of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, even copying out several of them to sort of reenact the process of composing them. He was also fond of playing these works in the salons of the nobility in Vienna.
When Beethoven learned that the Leipzig publishers, Hoffmeister and Kühnel, had plans to publish a complete edition of Bach’s clavier work, he stated, “That you want to publish Sebastian Bach’s works delights my heart, which beats wholly for the great and lofty art of this father of harmony, and I wish soon to see the enterprise in full swing.”